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Is It Time For A Federal Quail Stamp?

Is it time for a "quail stamp?"

If you are – as I am – a waterfowler as well as a quail hunter, you know how important the federal duck stamp program has been to waterfowl production and habitat conservation since its inception in 1934.  Our system of national wildlife refuges funded by our duck stamp purchases is unique in the world as a shining example of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and is something we as hunters should justifiably be proud of.

 But here’s a question I’ve been kicking around in my head for a while now: would it be possible to emulate the structure and the success of the duck stamp program, but with upland gamebirds as the target species? And if it were possible, would now be the time to do it?

 I think the parallels between the basic problems facing ducks at the turn of the century and upland birds now are obvious: precipitous declines in populations brought on by a steep and ever-accelerating loss of habitat.

 Of course, there are also some fundamental differences, too. Ducks and geese are migratory and therefore require a certain level of federal involvement, whereas most upland species are not. For lack of a better term (and for better or worse) upland birds like quail are “states’ rights” birds.

 And to what uses or goals would those funds be applied and allocated? National wildlife refuges focused on upland habitat? Research? Education? And more importantly, what species?

 Admittedly, there are a host of technical and ecological roadblocks to implementing a federal upland bird recovery program. Daunting, to be sure, but not insurmountable. And with the looming threat of federal involvement in the management of several threatened upland bird species, anyway, perhaps it’s time to look forward by taking a look back into history.

 What do you think? Would you be in favor of a federal upland bird stamp structured like the duck stamp program? I’d buy a federal quail stamp, how about you?

Chad Love  writes for Quail Forever from Woodward, Oklahoma. He is a lifelong quail hunter and “bird dog guy” who also writes for Field & Stream, including the magazine’s   “Man’s Best Friend” gundog blog.


7 Responses to “Is It Time For A Federal Quail Stamp?”

  1. Mark Coleman says:

    Absolutely in favor with funding going toward CRP and CP33 programs, which are in danger of withering away under new budget restrictions. I’d support state level stamps as well. Who’s the guy to speak with to get a program like this rolling at the federal level?

  2. Yes, I had forgotten how wonderful this project would be. There are already license tags for wildlife, a quail stamp would help all of our small game.

  3. @Mark. Thanks for voicing your support. Drop a note with your thoughts to Dave Nomsen, Quail Forever’s Vice President of Government Affairs, at DNomsen@quailforever.org. – Anthony Hauck, Quail Forever Online Editor

  4. Steve Chafin says:

    Puh leeze!, Are you kidding me? No way. Just what we need, another program run amuck by the government for the government.

    If you want to improve habitat, then by all means go out and improive habitat. Don’t delegate it to a bureacracy that will endeavor to build another empire. Just go out, put your $ where your mouth is and make a positive difference where ever you can.

    We don’t need another agency, with offices, computers, vehicles, AFSCME, overhead, and on and on…

  5. Mark Coleman says:

    Steve, I’m fairly sure we’re not talking about starting a Dept of Homeland Game Stamps here. As Chad noted the duck stamp program has been very successful (what bureaucracy was created by this?) and what we’re talking about is a way for upland hunters to help fund highly successful programs that will, at the very least, be dramatically cut back in the coming years. The habitat work won’t be done by the government; it never has been.

  6. Ro says:

    I just found this because I was looking to see if there is such a program anymore. There is a small article about Upland bird stamps in an old magazine from 1984. There used to be lots of these programs, even for salmon, and they slowly were taken away. They used to be state to state and the one Federal Duck stamp. Now only that one remains. People enjoy the stamps and are willing to buy stamps, so why not.

  7. Ro says:

    Please forgive, as I have dug some more and found some states still doing duck stamps, yet in that list some are some are quitting. Oregon has and Upland Game bird stamp.